Now’s your chance to fight fleas through the whole season without chemicals!

flea-1.jpgIf you have pets that come in contact with your lawn, Beneficial Nematodes are an excellent weapon to use against fleas and their larvae. These Nematodes are microscopic and live below the soil surface. They like a moist environment, so our warm wet springs are a perfect time to apply them. As flea larvae emerge, they are eaten by hungry nematodes. Nematodes do not harm worms, birds, plants or the environment, in fact they are part of the environment and are found the world over.
Beneficial Nematodes are sold live on sponges that can be stored under refrigeration for a week or two before use. A few gallons of water is used as a carrying agent. This concentrate can be applied through a pump sprayer or with the use of a watering can.
Nematodes are available at local nurseries – I spoke to the nice folks at Portland Nursery for tips about applying in our region. The best time to apply them to fight fleas here in the Northwest is when the soil temp is over 50 degrees. Applying in late April or early May would be the perfect time to expose the emerging flea larvae to their nematode predators. Nematodes need moisture to establish themselves, so watering the lawn well before application is useful, as well as watering them in after applying. One sponge has about 11 million beneficial nematodes, which will cover about 1000 sq ft., and costs about $14- $16 dollars. Soak the sponge in a bucket of water to activate the nematodes, then put a cup or so in a watering can and fill up the can with water. there’s no real formula – you want to make your bucket of nematodes spread evenly around the yard one watering can at a time. You can use a clean pump sprayer for this as well, but if any chemicals have been in the sprayer, they will affect the nematodes. They will thrive as long as there are larvae to eat, but when there is no more prey, they die out. Some people reapply a few times during flea season to make sure they’re covering their bases.

3 Responses to “Now’s your chance to fight fleas through the whole season without chemicals!”

  1. Mservice

    What if you take your dog for long walks in the neighborhood and in a nearby forested area… Will this treatment plan still be affective?

  2. Green Dog

    I would spray a neem oil based repellant on him before you get into the woods and flea comb him when you come home

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